Wheat hosts

It turns out I have really bad food allergies which include wheat (gluten) and yeast or fermented things including alcoholic beverages like beer and wine. My doctor advised I remove all these things from my diet for at least 4-6 months and then try to re-introduce a few things and see how it goes.

I told my doctor that I’m Catholic and that it would be problematic for me to not receive the Eucharist. He said he’s familiar with this and that he had another Catholic patient who informed their priest and the priest used “gluten-free” hosts. I explained that this is not licit and what they problem meant is “extremely low gluten” and he replied that no, it was definitely “gluten-free.”

We then politely argued about why it matters that Jesus would choose wheat and why it matters to the Catholic Church and why it matters today especially since the wheat we have today (Monsanto genetically engineered stuff) is so genetically different from the wheat of Jesus’s day and area as to not even be the same thing.

So all this lead-up leads me to the following questions:

*]Can someone point me to the precise CDF document (dated June 22, 1994 according to a This Rock article) that explains why there must be some wheat gluten in the host? I did some googling and scouring through the Vatican CDF home page, but couldn’t find that particular document.
*]Do you think the good doctor was just mistaken/ignorant about the gluten-free hosts and the Priest anecdote, or should I ask him to inform his other patient that they might be violating their Catholic faith? Or would this just be prying into other people’s business?
*]What would be good retorts to the questions about “Why does wheat matter?” and “Our wheat today doesn’t look anything like the wheat before to the point where it’s not really even wheat anymore?”

Note, it looks like the Catholic.com article I found that said June 22 was mistaken, it was actually August 22, 1994. I found another Catholic.com article that says August:

Here’s the one that says June:

Here’s the one that says August:

Anyhow, I’m still having trouble locating the actual document. I found a copy of it here:

I would venture to guess the hosts in question are these or something of that variety. This particular type is 0.01% gluten…hardly recognizable to a Celiac’s system but still qualifies has having gluten to the Church.

Regarding the rest, the priest likely said “Gluten free” because they are such low gluten. He, in truth, may not have known better.

Wheat is wheat. I watch it grow every year all around my home as I live in wheat country. While what YOU receive in a store ground into flour is definitely unrecognizable, the wheat that is processed to go into hosts looks exactly like the wheat we have drawings of from the time of Christ.

Every doctor should respect religious requirements and help patients to work around them. If they accommodate Jewish who require Kosher and Christian Scientists who require nothing invasive in the name of religious tolerance then there’s absolutely no reason he should be giving you garbage about needing extremely low gluten wheat hosts.

Another solution to this is to simply discuss this with your priest and make arrangements ahead of time to receive the Blood of Christ only. This is permitted.

That is truly a terrible combination :(.

As the above said, yes you must have gluten in a host. If a person cannot handle gluten, then can try a low-gluten host (0.01% or something). If the doctor told other people to ask for “gluten free” hosts and they talked to their priests, they probably were receiving this low-gluten host (as there there are no Catholic suppliers who would actually make a gluten free host anyways).

The usual next step for a person who cannot even receive a low-gluten host would be to receive from the Chalice only. If a person is not able to handle alcohol, the last thing they could try is mustum, which is naturally fermented grapes. Just like the low-gluten host, it is the minimum needed to be considered a valid element.

The Church cannot consecrate anything that does not have “the confection of bread.” The low-low-low gluten host does qualify as having “the confection of bread.”

You can send for them here. benedictinesisters.org/bread/low_gluten.php

The good Sisters worked for YEARS to make hosts that would work and be able to be consecrated. People have been tested after getting this host and their antibodies are still negative, so it has less gluten than you would get eating out at most restaurants even if the entree’ was GF.

You can take one of these hosts to church in a pyx, have the pyx placed on the altar during the consecration, and then have someone minister it to you. YOU open the pyx, not the minister.

My sons have both been taking only the Blood since the hosts were not available until fairly recently. The times when the Blood is not available are problematic though (Good Friday). When there was a swine flu scare, suddenly the chalices disappeared so my sons had nothing, no recourse.

Discuss the arrangements with your parish priest right away. It was no problem for my sons to receive from the chalice - they do have to watch out so they aren’t in the line with the priest’s chalice, though. And our parish does not allow tincture (dipping) and no parishes are supposed to allow it.

Send me a PM if you need any more info.

That was my first thought as well. The priest may have said “gluten free”, but he very well could have been refering to the low, low gluten alternative. I would not assume otherwise and I certainly wouldn’t presume to tell the doctor to pass along Catholic doctrine to another patient. That would be over-stepping some boundaries.

Gluten is naturally occuring in wheat. Its not that wheat gluten is needed, its that the bread must be made of wheat. And if its made of wheat, it has gluten.

If you cannot receive the Host, then arrange that you may receive the Precious Blood. Now you don’t have to worry about gluten.

We need wheat to make the bread. There’s no way around it, should be wheat. I don’t know what you mean by “wheat isn’t really even wheat anymore.” If it isn’t wheat, its not valid matter.

Note chadmeyers is also to forgo yeast - alcoholic beverages.

It might be possible to use a low gluten host, and only receive a small fragment. The smallest fragment is still the complete Eucharist. I haven’t dealt with the gluten problem, but, as an EMHC to the home bound, I have frequently had to give the person a very small fragment and consume the rest myself.

Either that or a small drop of the Precious Blood. That is how babies are given Communion in the East.

While it is a hardship, you can also chose to refrain from communion for this time period. I would not chose that personally, but it is certainly an option.

What I do recommend is speaking directly to your priest. Explain your circumstances and ask what your options are within your parish. He will very likely be aware of the low-gluten hosts and low-alcohol wines and can guide you on what will work best for him and you withing the structure of the Mass at your parish.

If you cut out all the major sources of gluten and fermentation in your regular diet, you may find that the small amount in a low-gluten host or low-alcohol wine does not bother you. We get so much gluten in a normal American diet, that cutting down there may bring your body to a point that it can tolerate the host.

According to the FDA, “free” does note mean without, it means “a low source of”


So gluten free hosts would be a low source of gluten.

You are only require to receive communion 1 time per year: between Ash Wednesday and trinity Sunday. At all other masses, just make a spiritual communion.

Correction, its during the Easter Season. So from Easter Vigil until Pentecost.

The time period varies by country, and probably by sui juis Church. Evan is correct for the Latin Church in the US. I think we were originally allowed the long period because of the distance between churches and difficulty of travel, and it has never been changed.

Of course I am talking about the Roman Catholic Church. Here is what Canon Law says:

Can. 920 §1. After being initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year.

§2. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season unless it is fulfilled for a just cause at another time during the year.

I don’t know what is justified cause, but it sure didn’t say that the period can be moved by diocese or episcopal conference. Or maybe justified cause will fall for countries where there are persecution. So once any time during the year may be justified.

I know the Easter Season used to extend to Trinity Sunday before Vatican II, as Trinity Sunday was the Octave of Pentecost. The Octave was suppressed in 1969 and now Pentecost is celebrated on a single Sunday rather than a full week.

I never heard that the Easter duty was tied to the Easter season. If it is tied to the season, Easter Sunday was also removed from the season and is now part of Triduum. So you would need to received from Monday of the Octave of Easter to Pentecost. Unless you decide the Easter Sunday is part of both Triduum AND Easter Season! I find Triduum a confusing season. :shrug:

Of course, here in the US, we still have the longer time for completing the Easter Duty.

The Church calendar would be a good basis. Once it stopped saying Xth Sunday of Easter and switch to Ordinary Time, then you’re outside the Easter Season. Ordinary Time begins the day after Pentecost Sunday, so Trinity Sunday will already be part of Ordinary Time and not the Easter Season.

This is an interesting topic. It makes me wonder about transubstantiation. Maybe someone can help me understand it better (I’m a convert)… I thought that the entire substance of the bread (including the gluten) was transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ, and that only the appearance of the host remained after the consecration by the priest. If the entire substance changes, wouldn’t that mean that it’s basic chemical properties would be changed as well from that of bread to that of flesh? If so, why are people worried about gluten when there’s no longer gluten in a consecrated host? And if celiacs do get sick from eating Jesus, can someone explain why His flesh is acting like it’s gluten? Why doesn’t it act like flesh? Thank you for helping me to understand this.

Transubstantiation differentiates substance (what something is) from the accidents (what something appears to be). Since the accidents of bread and wine remain, their interaction with the physical world would be that of bread and wine. Substance is beyond the physical world when looking at realities. So the Eucharist will still react with our physical bodies the same way bread and wine would. Remember that the Risen Body of Christ was not held bound by the laws of physics. He would appear and disappear among the Apostles who were in a locked room. At the Road to Emmaus, He disappeared into thin air after breaking the bread.

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